Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sweep the Earth

Toady, Elder Bednar gave an exhortation to "sweep the earth with messages of righteousness and truth" using social media. Link

The underlying idea is something that probably strikes all of us.  It did me anyway.  One Church authored tweet said "what will your message be?"  I decided to respond.  But not by re-posting a Church authored meme or talk.  I wanted to share some personal views of what I've come to know as true.  I respect that many will disagree.  I respect other view points, and welcome them as part of a good discussion.

This sweeping the internet initiative may turn out to be fantastic Church marketing, but I digress.

This is a message I believe to be true.  But I'm not asking anyone to agree, just consider it.  See if it conforms to scriptural teachings, see if it sheds a different light on things.  Even if it's new, or against tradition, or mainstream thought, see if it may be true.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be controlled or "owned" by man.  You can't control the Holy Ghost and tell it when or how to do things.  The priesthood cannot be controlled and dictated by man either. When men attempt to do those things the result is no longer Christ's Gospel, and no longer true priesthood. It's mans work. Power and the Spirit are lost when done in any other way than what is in harmony with heaven. (D&C 121:37).  It's only God's word when He is the Author of it.  Man can't control that.  But men in every age have attempted to.

Thankfully, we do not have to look to men for salvation or a relationship with God himself. We can actually look to a resurrected being, who desires to save, who is willing to teach, who desires to talk to you, and who can enlighten you. He has power to redeem. I don't believe He has given up the right to use his own keys or power.  He hasn't given his power to men to dictate what you think, control your beliefs, tell you misrepresentations of history, and exercise authority over you (2 Nephi 28:5).

It seems a good portion of Mormons prefer and are taught to follow a man with a calling to preside.  (Some follow him literally from place to place: www.followtheprophet.net) There are those who believe and live the scriptures which teach to first or primarily always follow the Lord. Others believe following the prophet comes first.  There are many who believe the prophet (read current President of the Church) will never lead anyone astray and when they enter a room we should all stand. There are those (myself included) who find that to be wrong, and misleading.    

The message of righteousness I think is the message of Christ.  Not of a man, ordained by other men, who we sustain by our common consent.  Does God call mortals to His work.  Of course he does.  But the mouthpieces were never intended to come between you and the Lord.  Acts 5:29: "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

What is more edifying, come to the being who is light itself?  Or put your trust in an institution and follow a man who holds borrowed keys?  Christ is very much alive, and does not require you to follow a man in order to come into contact with Him and be taught by Him. Isn't that good news?  You don't need to depend on another?  What if we swept the earth with that?

Teachers sent by him point you towards Him, teach you about Him, and encourage faith in Him alone.  They offer the truth in plain humility. False teachings will not, and will instead point you towards other men, use statistics, opinions, and researchers (Official Hand Book 2. 21.1.35) to cover their absence of divine revelation.  It ends up requiring you to swear allegiance, and accept an institution with its traditions and beliefs, and eventually creeds. It is God alone who should rightly be the object of our belief and faith. 

These things to me are true.  I've experienced them.  I cannot describe the foolishness of attributing righteousness to messages that are half true, that stop short of what God has said in scripture, and which do not bring you closer to Him.  And instead have you dependent on some organization repeating empty platitudes that will not save you.  All that does is blind, and cause darkness.  We are surrounded by such messages but by and large seem to prefer to remain blind to it.  

There are other views to consider.  I hope you have at least considered this one.     

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